From Samuel L. Jackson's MasterClass

Student Session: Breaking Down a Script - Part 1

Sam directs student actors in a workshop, and the first scene on the docket is the iconic diner scene from Pulp Fiction. In this lesson, Sam helps them break down the script to gain a deeper understanding of the characters’ intentions.

Topics include: Student Session: Breaking Down a Script Pt. 1


Sam directs student actors in a workshop, and the first scene on the docket is the iconic diner scene from Pulp Fiction. In this lesson, Sam helps them break down the script to gain a deeper understanding of the characters’ intentions.

Topics include: Student Session: Breaking Down a Script Pt. 1

Samuel L. Jackson

Teaches Acting

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All right, all right. [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGHTER] Good morning. Hey. Good morning. Good morning. How you doing? So thank you guys for being here. I'm glad you made it. Thank you for participating in this with me. New experience for me-- I never criticize people outside my own house. So this is going to be a whole new experience, just discussing it and seeing how it all rocks out. So everybody happy? Nervous? Yeah. Both. No, we're good. Why? Why? There's no judgment here, I mean, real judgment. A bit-- a little judgment. Yeah, a little bit. Yeah. But it's nothing to be nervous about. It's just another day, another great acting opportunity. This is what you want to do. You want to be actors. And every acting opportunity is a blessing. Every opportunity, every audition is a chance to go in and prove to somebody that you're good at what you do. And the level of confidence, the level of proficiency that you know you have-- exhibit it. Never think about getting a job or getting it right. Get it the way you wanted to do it when you go in there so that you show the best part of you. We're going to do this iconic scene from Pulp Fiction, which just happened to be the first thing we shot when we made this movie. This was the first scene that we did. An interesting piece of trivia that I don't think a lot of people know-- in the original script when this scene happens, there was a point where I closed my eyes and I shot Tim through the table and shot Honey Bunny off the bar. And when I opened my eyes, they were still there, because that's what the old Jules would have done. Oh, yeah. yeah. Ah. Quentin didn't shoot it, because he said, now if I shoot it, I'll use it. And I can't stand how you do it-- So there's all kinds of things that should have been shot that were in the script. But that's just stuff. I just put it in your head so I could just kind of see what you'll do with that, knowing that that should have happened here, didn't happen here, whatever. OK. And go ahead. Woo hoo! Let's knock it out. All right. Let's jump at it. [INTERPOSING VOICES] We have our coordination together? You want to practice pushing that top down and pulling that gun up at the same time? Mm-hmm. All right. So we start here? Have it turned around and open like that. So we're starting-- So we're starting with me here. Have it turned around and open. And she's asking-- [SIGH] Goddamn it, what is it? [INAUDIBLE] Let her go. Let her go. I'll blow your fucking head off. Tell that bitch to be cool. Say bitch, be cool. Say bitch, be cool! Baby, be cool. Honey Bunny, be cool. Tell her it's going to be OK. Promise her. I promise it's going to be OK. Tell her to chill. You got to chill the fuck out. Chill out. What's...

Get into Character

As a kid, Samuel L. Jackson stuttered so badly that he stopped talking for almost a year. Today he’s one of the world’s most successful actors, with roles in over 100 films, including Pulp Fiction and The Avengers. In his online acting class, the Oscar-nominated star shares how he creates memorable characters, powerful performances, and a long-lasting career. Learn to master auditions, analyze scripts, and find the truth in every role you play.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Great class! Gives all you need to make it work,if you can see it.

A very clear view of the process of a successful actor. Very well balanced between examples/techniques and insight's into what success is and what it feels like. Great to experience the joy, confidence and craft of Samuel L Jackson.

I am able now to watch a film and to appreciate an actor's work.

I learned the importance of confidence and persistence in relation to acting.



Didn't get the purpose of this video. It's not the lesson at all, looks more like a demonstration of process.

Robert A.

Wow I can barely find the words for this one. Learning so much great things. Thank you Sam!!!. Onward!!!

The Fool

Try it at half speed, at least the scene bit. It's got almost a soap opera feel. It also gives you a chance to read the subtitles and try your best to do that Ezekiel 25:17 part as you get right into the deeps of the scene. By the way here's that quote in case you want to practice it with your hair dryer or phone in in your hand while threatening yourself in the mirror. Or as one of those 'let's say our prayers' moments before tucking in the kids. Ezekiel 25:17, Pulp Fiction Edition: The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee. Something I'm recalling that is different from Samuel L. Jackson portrayal in Pulp Fiction and how he plays it here is in the movie he did a lot of talking through his teeth, a locked jaw ready to fight kind of primal thing. In this video he's more at ease, kind of story telling. It must be weird to try to play a badass and teach at the same time without totally leaving your students terrorized by you.


Sam as Jules... Priceless. Valuable feedback on the student session. Good class.

Jonathan S.

I didn't get the feeling that either of the women were as nervous (or attentive) as they should have been with the guns out. It's like when I watch a scene where someone is driving and talking to someone else, and they're not looking at the road. Knowing that they're not really driving (or that traffic is cleared because they're making a movie) takes me out of the scene.

A fellow student

i see there is alot of genius in acting. Today i memorized my first monologue. it is very exciting to feel like an actor for seconds.

Anthony Lee M.

love that he doesn't hold back on the punches. he's right in there calling the best out of everyone he encounters!

Mark F.

When Sam re-enacted the cut from the Bible, I was AMAZED! What a fine actor!!

William M.

The end gave me a new appreciation for actors. As a non-actor, I could never imagine having to memorize and perform a 5 page monologue at the last minute. "That's what we do, we accept challenges."


His comment on her gun and keeping an eye on the person who she was pointing her gun at, was so valid. I noticed that right away.